June 17, 2023
Read time: 2.5 minutes

Meet Kylie and Andrew Chenn—founders of Wander Ventures.

Kylie and Andrew Chenn—founders of Wander Ventures

In 2023, they’ll generate $3 million of revenue operating glamp sites 30 minutes outside of major national parks.

They’ve scaled the business in less than three years without any outside capital.

I chatted with Andrew recently and he revealed their playbook.

It’s absolutely genius.

Here are 5 gems from our conversation:

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Demand Validation

When they think about entering a new market, they start by creating a “placeholder” Airbnb listing.

The listing will include stock images, generic descriptions, and no reviews.

Their logic is if people are willing to book something so incredibly sub-optimized, they will definitely book a polished listing.

If they get a few of these organic bookings quickly, they’ll start investing more time.

A genius way to make small bets before going all-in.

Lease > Own

Andrew and Kylie are very scrappy.

To minimize their cash out-of-pocket (and lower risk), they always lease land their first season.

Here’s the pitch to a prospective landowner:

  • We’ll do all the work (set up tents, hire staff, maintenance, etc.)
  • We’ll create economic value (from your currently dormant land)
  • We’ll share that value with you (eg. 10% of gross income goes to the landowner)

In return, they receive a 1-year lease to operate on the property.

If performance is strong in that first season, they can use the profit to buy land before the next season.

Tents >

Tent Image

Further to the point above, everything comes back to capital efficiency.

Tents offer a couple of big advantages over things like cabins or domes:

  • Low-cost: ~$4K each, including all furnishings
  • Transient: easy to store them in the offseason (or relocate to other sites)

A few years in, they are just now exploring the addition of a few “high-end” cabins in their most popular markets.

A very natural way to price discriminate.

“Workcamping” Force

One of their biggest challenges is staffing.

Due to the seasonal nature of the business, finding reliable temporary workers to clean and run day-to-day operations is very challenging.

The aha moment came when they discovered an entire community of “workcampers

People who live out of their RV and travel the country—campsite to campsite.

Tapping into that labor pool has been a total game changer.


As a former management consultant, Andrew geeks out over the ops side of the business.

He loves systems and finding ways to do things more efficiently.

Kylie, meanwhile, is the creative—and if I’m being honest, the real genius here 😉

They make for a powerful team.

In the next two years, they’ll productize their system/playbook and franchise it to landowners (or leasing operators).

I believe this is a huge opportunity and one they are very well suited to execute.


The average site has the capacity for 20 tents (call it $60K out-of-pocket).

The average daily rate is $150/night before factoring in miscellaneous income.

We didn’t cover operating costs explicitly, but the major line items are:

  • Landowner revenue share
  • Cleaners/operations staffing
  • Platform fees (to OTA’s/Airbnb)
  • Day-to-day supplies (soap, paper, etc)
  • Utilities and septic servicing

I’d speculate operating margins run 70%+ (total guess).

If they average 80% occupancy across the site, they’ll recoup their $60K investment in 35 days.

That leaves the remaining 6 months of the season as profit.

How’s that for capital efficiency?

📚 Caught my eye:

Investing in commercial solar to reduce taxes on high W2 income

I love Andrew and Kylie’s bootstrapped story.

It proves you don’t need loads of capital to build wealth.

Just some creativity and hard work.

The good news is the window of opportunity remains wide open for others to follow in their footsteps.

Coming from a travel-obsessed, remote-working millennial myself, experiences like this will only grow in popularity.

Reach out if you have any questions.

Until next week,


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